Issue 750

Tuesday, 23rd October 2018

In This Issue


Bloomberg's Supermicro supply chain hack looks more fabricated every day

Following Apple's CEO calling for Bloomberg to retract its article on Supermicro's alleged role in supply chain hack by the Chinese government, Amazon Web Services executive Andy Jassy tweeted that Tim Cook is right and Supermicro has sent a letter to its customers saying that "despite the lack of any proof that a malicious hardware chip exists, we are undertaking a complicated and time-consuming review to further address the article". Meanwhile, you'd think journalists all over the place would be keen to corroborate Bloomberg's story - yet nothing has happened. Nobody's been able to verify the things Bloomberg put out into the world. The Washington Post in particular reckons the whole thing stinks. Neither can Serve The Home, who give a technical overview of why what Bloomberg said happened is relatively unlikely.

GitHub was cooked for 24 hours, back to normal now though

GitHub took a big shit yesterday and didn't recover for a solid 24 hours (I know that feeling). For those unaware, GitHub is where many programmers keep all their code, and businesses have their development workflows tied heavily into this service. It stopped working for a day, so technically, so did many programmers around the world. According to GitHub, multiple services "were affected by a network partition and subsequent database failure resulting in inconsistent information being presented on our website. Out of an abundance of caution we have taken steps to ensure the integrity of your data, including pausing webhook events and other internal processing systems". No data was lost, but it's a good time to think about what happens if data on GitHub was lost and what you'd do to recover from it.

An ALP software contractor left their JIRA instance open for Google indexing

This story is kinda convoluted, so stick with me here. The ALP uses some software called Campaign Central that "links voters' personal information from the electoral roll with data useful for campaigning". The ALP outsources management of Campaign Central to Magenta Linas, a software company. Magenta Linas uses Atlassian's JIRA to handle what work should be done by who and when. Got it? The ABC discovered that the JIRA instance belonging to Magenta Linas wasn't locked down properly, so Google indexed it, meaning passers by could see various jobs Magenta Linas did for politicians like modifying websites and adding features to Campaign Central. Nothing particularly juicy about the ALP's inner workings was revealed. Nothing to see here, move along.

The DTA spent $700,000 to find out blockchain is mostly hype

The Digital Transformation Agency was given $700,000 to "research the benefits of using blockchain to help deliver government services, the maturity of the technology, the problems it may solve and the government’s readiness to adopt it". A few months later, DTA chief digital officer Peter Alexander told a Senate estimates hearing today that "blockchain is an interesting technology that would be well worth being observed, but without standardisation and a lot more work, for every use of blockchain that you would consider today there is a better technology". Pretty much what the NIST said a few weeks ago. Someone should have told ex-Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke.

Tesla & Elon Musk news dump

Here's a bunch of Elon Musk/Tesla related news:

Not News, But Still Cool

There's a new world champ of Classic Tetris

I'm not big into e-sports, but watching 16-year-old Joseph Saelee become the Classic Tetris World Champion was enthralling. I think it helps that I understand the game (who doesn't know what's happening Tetris?) and the commentary is solid - like better than 7's AFL commentary (which isn't difficult). The kid was up against seasoned veterans of the Classic Tetris world, battling through many opponents as an unseeded competitor. In a best of three final round, he beat Jonas Neubauer, a seven-time Tetris champion and the current world champion three times running. Joseph uses a "hypertapping" technique, "where players tap the D-pad as fast as possible rather than holding the D-pad down", which his mastery of seems to be why he was able to beat these older dudes.

How would you spend $156b of Jeff Bezos' cash?

Kris Ligman has made a little choose your own adventure game, where you somehow ended up as Jeff Bezos. His family don't even know it's you and not Jeff. What happened to Jeff? We don't know and don't care, as our mission now is to spend all $156b of his money. The game has a few chuckles, but it's main aim is to highlight just how damn wealthy this dude is. If Jeff Bezos decided to incrementally sell his Amazon stocks and give the money away to other causes (e.g: buy every homeless person in the USA a house), he would still have over $100b in assets. Imagine having that sort of wealth and keeping the vast majority of it to yourself. At least Bill Gates is doing something positive with his billions.

Cheap Xiaomi Qi charger, Aldi arcade cabinet, Nvidia Shield, Xbox One X Red Dead bundle, GoPro Hero7 Black, Samsung EVO SSDs & microSD cards

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

The Presets - Kitty In The Middle